Friday, February 8, 2013

Emotion coaching: The Secret to Effective Discipline

Week Two

  • You are not helpless.
  • You really do make a difference. 
  • Your response to your child can either escalate or deescalate the situation.  

Your response really does change your child’s.

It can move them from the red zone of a meltdown to the green zone of cooperating with you.

Calm and cooperation
Tension and meltdowns

In the Red zone our engines are running “hot.” You can feel the tension and your heart pounding.  Your child refuses to look at you and can’t “hear you.”   He might hit you, call you names, scream, run away, and refuse to make a decision or answer a question.  Or, he may simply slump into a rag doll heap unable to do anything. 

In the Green zone everyone is calm.  Your heart is not racing in your chest.  Your child looks at you and “hears” you.  He listens, answers questions, offers potential solutions and can make decisions.  He can even wait if needed. 

  • The red zone is “catchy.”  It’s easy when your child is in the red zone to go there too.  But you don’t have to. 
  • Take a deep breath.  He’s not out to “get you.”  You are not helpless.  You are an emotion coach.  Your response can change what’s happening here. 
  • You can choose to give orders which escalate the situation and pushes your child into the red zone or to listen which deescalates and moves everyone to the green zone of cooperation.    
  • Usually we give orders because we are rushing, but in reality, it takes more time to deal with a tantrum than it does to stop and listen.  
  • Choosing to listen first allows everyone to feel better and saves time in the long run because you are working together. 


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  2. i love the statement "you are an emotion coach" - it's such a great thing to remind ourselves about this very important role. When we can model the kind of communication and respect we want our children to practice it's a win/win for all of us.